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Eloise’s Story: “He knew he could get away with it”

I don’t really know if this is worth sharing, but I saw an article in a magazine about street harassment and campaigns against it, and I thought might as well, because it’s something that should be made more aware.
So Thursday 20th Oct 2011. I was waiting for the bus as I was going to town, and as usual it was late. I was alone at the bus stop, but I wasn’t too bothered seeing as it was just gone midday, however it was pretty cold, and I was looking forward to get on the warm bus.
I’d been there about 15 mins when a car started to slow down, and a guy popped his head out and shouted “how much for sex” before laughing and driving off. The fact that he drove off obviously meant he was joking, but I was surprised as to how shaken up I was. Baring in mind I’m 16 and there was no one about, so anything could have happened. I wasn’t even dressed “sexy”. I was in a big hoody, jeans, trainers with a big scarf. I just hate the fact that he thought he could just say something like that, because he knew he could get away with it.

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Danielle’s Story: “That is obviously going to make me want to talk to him more”

I was walking to my bus stop when I noticed a car driving slowly by me. I only glanced over to see what it was. This guy just fervently waving at me. I wasn’t rude and didn’t want to get into any sort of situation, so I just looked away and kept walking, but he made it a point to turn around so he could flip me off and spit at me. Because that is obviously going to make me want to talk to him more!

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Alana’s Story: Angry

I used to get a lot of verbal harassment in the neighborhood where I lived, off of a major highway. I moved to a smaller, nicer, residential neighborhood where harassment isn’t really a problem.
I was walking back from the library. It wasn’t late, maybe 7:30 or so, but it’s getting darker earlier now so the sun was already down. The speed limit is very low, so cars drive slowly, but I noticed one coming towards me was slowing way down. It had heavily tinted windows, so I couldn’t see who was driving it, but it pulled into a space next to where I was walking and I heard someone inside say “hey, ladyy.”
I was already in a bad mood, so I bellowed “Fuck off!” as loudly as I could and the kept walking. I heard the car pull away behind me.
I’m glad my harassment reaction skills haven’t atrophied, but it still really, really made me angry.

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Anne’s Story: “This is the way you call a dog, dude”

For more than a year now I have passed the same guy on my walk to work at least once if not multiple times a week. He’s a middle aged man who wears dark rimmed glasses and flamboyant brightly colored suits always walking west on Lake Street. He also makes a very obvious point to look me (and every other woman in a one block radius) up and down every time I walk by him– sometimes I will have walked 10 or 15 feet past him and I turn around and he is walking with his head turned all the way around still looking at my behind. He always tries to lean in way too close with a “Hey baby” or a “Looking fine, girl” or making that awful kissing noise– that’s his favorite. This is the way you call a dog, dude. It does NOT make me want to sleep with you. In fact, it makes me want to kick you in the groin.

Normally I am pretty good at ignoring idiots like this, but the fact that I experience this on a regular basis from the same person– that I can spot him from a block away and know what is coming– totally infuriates me. I have given him the dirtiest looks I can muster, stared him down, told him he is disgusting, but I’m pretty sure he gets off on that because his behavior never changes… if anything, he gets a little braver and lingers a little longer and he’s still the same awful creep that I can expect to run into almost every morning.

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LJ’s Story: “Come on, bystanders!”

A guy with a leaf-blower was out in front of this building – it’s not a church, but it has a steeple. I was just going for a nice morning walk, and noticed that he was walking alongside of me for a little while, a few feet away. I looked over at him, and he gave me a really creepy smile. A cop car drove by, and I told him to leave me alone. I started walking faster, and he did too, but then eventually turned and started leaf-blowing again. I can only imagine he was on the job. What was even more infuriating was that there was a nice-looking guy presumably walking to an office nearby, and I looked at him with a look of frustration trying to say with my eyes ‘can you believe how awful he’s being?!’, and that guy just gave an ‘it’s none of my business’ grin and walked away. Come on, bystanders!

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Amy’s Story: Shocked

I was walking my dog and my step-mother’s dog on the lawn. My dog was on a leash and I bent down to pet him. As a vehicle drove by, a male voice shouted “Bend over!”

I was so shocked that this was happening in a residential neighborhood in Winthrop Maine that I wasn’t able to react. As the vehicle drove off (I can’t even remember what it was), I flipped my middle finger, but it didn’t make me feel better.

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Becky’s Story: Not impressed

A few months ago, I was just walking down a street and minding my own business. When I heard shouts behind me, I turned around and saw a car driving past with about four men in it shouting comments like “Alright, Sexy”, and “I’d smash your back doors in”. I was fifteen at the time, and even though I’d had a few looks and comments before it really scared me, and I was really shook up by the whole situation. Something should definitely be done about this, it may be seen by men as a bit of banter, but it’s completely insulting and derogatory. A few if my friends have also had experiences like this, and none of them have been impressed.

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Claire S.’s Story: Assaulted outside a bar

On Sept. 12th, 2011 at roughly 11:30 PM I was walking to a bar on Congress St. I had dropped off two friends, then went with another to park. Walking to the bar after parking, I was approached by an unknown male, very obviously chemically impaired (glassy eyes,profuse sweating.) He was initially shouting about being kicked out of one of the bars, then realized I was Trans* and started unleashing a string of transphobic slurs and threats, telling me that I did not belong in that part of town. At one point he physically confronted me, bumping his chest into me and shoving me. A very firm knee to the groin did not deter him, nor could his companion, a short man, convince him to stop. Fortunately, the woman I was walking with entered the bar next door and dispatched the bartender, who promptly dialed 911 and came out to assist, causing the assaulter to flee down an alley.

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HG’s Story: “All the things I would have liked to say”

I was walking from the metro to my apartment today when this gross guy came up behind me. I knew he was saying something to me but I just pretended not to notice him because I was wearing headphones. Then he started speaking really loud so I could hear him over the earphones: “You’re a really beautiful woman.” I’m positive this ugly mofo thought he was doing me a favor but it was just embarrassing. I just pretended not to notice him over my music even though he was in my face. I arrived at the entrance to my apartment and went inside.

This happens to me a lot in the 2 minute walk between the metro and my apartment and it’s infuriating. I pledged to speak up the next time one of these perverts was close enough for me to confront them (they often just things as they drive by). But in that moment, I couldn’t do it. I thought, if I piss this guy off, he’s going to know where I live and it will only make things worse. I was so angry at myself because immediately after I got home I thought of all the things I would have liked to say to him. More than anything, I wanted him to feel mortified like he made me feel in front of my own home, without letting him know he had gotten to me. Here’s what I would have like to have said:
Smiling like I was interested, I’d say “You’re pretty confident, aren’t you?”
And he’d respond with some kind of “Yes.”
And then with a straight face, I’d love to have said: “Well you shouldn’t be. You’re shorter than a 4th grader.”

Maybe next time I’ll have the courage?

WE NEED A HOLLABACK LA. This city is filled with creeps.

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Virginia’s story: “Just waiting for the bus, please leave me alone!”

On a daily basis I encounter this. Guys slow down in their cars expecting to pick me up. Or they stare. Are they even watching the road? I know its not groping, or stalking, verbal, or assault(though I definitely felt the threat of that before). But it bothers me to no end… I mean, it really gets me down. On days like this when I get home I cry. Because it happens OFTEN. Every time I wait for the bus now, its like its increasing. On a normal week where I do nothing but school that would be maybe 12 times, often more, in a week that I have to face this. The other day I was only standing at my front door to check the weather and this happened…

One of the things that sickens me the most is that I am 19 years old, but I look young, and I think I am being target for that. I seriously look like a freshmen in high school, in other words, a minor. And they still target me! Sick!

It seriously depresses me that this is the kind of world I have to live in for the rest of my life. I feel more afraid of threats then I ever have in my life… or I mean, aware.

I sometimes wish I could pull out a sign that says “Just waiting for the bus, please leave me alone!”

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